Every mother tries her best to keep her monthly menstrual phase a secret from her children for as long as possible. It is one of those topics like how and where do babies come from? that you want to avoid.
When I was a kid, I had a habit of playing shops with mum’s wardrobe. My mother was very patient and let me open her wardrobe and pretend to sell her saree’s to imaginary customers. Now one fine day, I found out her bag of sanitary pads wedged in between a pile of saree’s!!
Something similar happened to me a couple of years ago, when my children were 4 and 6 years old. Because they were very young, I resorted to the answer that my mother gave me when I was little. And since I have two children, one takes the new found item to the other creating two curious bambinos. One would happily settle for, “it is a mummy thing, will tell you more when you are a bit older”, but the younger one couldn’t understand that nor could she accept that as a convincing answer. So I shared my mum’s wisdom!
Me: Irene, it is like a band-aid that only mummy needs when she bleeds.
She seemed convinced enough to leave me alone and carried on drawing.
Oh, that went well!! Success!! My mother was right. I didn’t lie but I didn’t tell the truth either. Now after two years, last week Irene fell over and had a big cut (not that big, more like a long paper cut). So she came to me asking for a plaster. I said, I don’t have any we’ll get some new ones when we pop out to the shops.
But no, she didn’t stop at that. She wanted a plaster by hook or by crook. History repeated itself after ten years. My daughter did the same thing that I did to my mother.
Irene (came hurriedly from the bathroom): Mum, look I found your band-aid. This will do for now, wouldn’t it? We can get you some more, ok?!
Me: No. Not ok!!
Right!! That’s exactly right. It was me who told her it was a plaster, she forgot the minor detail that it was ONLY for mummy.
Now, Irene is horrified of blood and so there was no way I could have told her what kind of bleeding it is for, so I re-instated the fact that it is only for mummy’s and for special kind of bleeding only. I will tell you more when I can ok? That was that for Irene!
But my Reuben is older now, at eight years he understands and senses things to be much more fishy than what is said. He asked me,
Reuben: “Mum, I never see you use them yet you buy new packets all the time.”
I took the risk of explaining him more, because he is older and less squeamish. I simply told him that mummy has an egg in her tummy and when that egg doesn’t turn into a baby, it comes out in the form of blood. I use these during those days. It only lasts for 5 to 7 days, not all the time. Well, he already knows where babies come from, so I reckoned it won’t be too hard for him to take this detail in.
So last week, I was shopping and I brought another pack of sanitary pads, to which my VERY LOUD Reuben said, “Mummy are your eggs hatching now?!!”
Only two people stared!!! Hmmmmmmm. Sigh!!